Today, I want to continue to experiment with a form of journaling that I learned a few years ago and was recently reminded of.
H – Highlight
Galatians 1 :1516 – 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;
E – Explain
Paul is in the midst of explaining his conversion to the Galatians. His purpose is so that they will see that is message, though perfectly in line with the teaching of the apostles in Jerusalem, did not come to him from them. Rather, Paul’s gospel message came directly from Christ.
In these two verses, I see 3 things that Paul says about the Lord and himself related to his conversion. First, God set Paul aside for salvation before he was born. This is a clear claim of predestination. Before Paul had ever been born, Paul’s final destination was set by the Lord.
Second, Paul says that the Lord called him by his grace. It is a kind thing that the Lord would call any person to himself. God set Paul aside before his birth, then, at the proper time, by his grace, God called Paul to himself and then into ministry.
Finally, Paul says that God did these things, revealing Jesus to him, in order that Paul might preach Christ among the gentiles. Paul has a mission, a purpose to carry out. And this is what he is doing even in the letter to the Galatians.
A – Apply
What is true of Paul in the three things is true of me, though not to an apostolic degree. My salvation is something God planned before time and predestined. My calling to Christ is a thing of grace. And my life is to be on mission for the Lord. I cannot say that I am called, like Paul, to travel as a missionary taking the gospel to new people groups in the same way that Paul did. But I must know that God intends me to proclaim Christ with a purpose.
R – Response
With predestination, I respond with gratitude and confidence. God did the work and graciously brought me to himself. And God graciously gives me a mission that he will see fulfilled. If God saved me by his grace and for his glory, I need not fear that he will fail in the mission he uses me to accomplish. These things must give me hope as I press on.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for Jesus. I thank you for setting me aside before my birth, for writing my name in the book of life before the foundation of the world. I thank you that my salvation is not a thing of my own making, but is wholly your doing from start to finish. I thank you for grace, for the favor that I could never deserve. And I thank you for my own mission. I know that you want me to proclaim your word to people who need to hear it for salvation and for growth. I pray that you will help me to better trust in you that you will accomplish your mission in all around me just as you were faithful to accomplish your perfect plan in me, a sinner. If you can save me, you can surely save others. If you can use me, then your grace is great indeed. And I pray that you will take my life and use it to your glory.